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NUCAFE: National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises

A digital farmer profiling initiative, which enables coffee to be traced back to its roots, is paying off for smallholder farmers in Uganda. NUCAFE’s David Muwonge describes how coffee produced under the scheme is fetching far higher prices, revealing the strong potential of geo-referencing as a marketing tool to guarantee authenticity and origin.

I grew up on a coffee farm in Uganda, where I witnessed how much my parents had to toil to make money from coffee to pay school fees for my siblings and me. Known nationally as the main cash crop and foreign exchange earner in Uganda, coffee farming provided my family and others like it with far less than 5 percent of the retail value of coffee – less than US$1 a day –  perpetuating generational abject poverty.

 

When coffee production sustainability goes wrong there is waste  of money, time, and our customers’ trust. With the urgency of climate change, the need to pull our farmers out of poverty, and the importance of finding ways to meet increasing demand, we must root out waste so that sustainability can reach its full potential. Let us look at the don'ts to avoid in coffee production sustainability.

Isaaya Kizza is a 23-year-old young man with a passion for coffee farming. He describes his love for farming as a “bitter-sweet love story”.
At the tender age of 19, Kizza began working on the farms neighbouring Nkokonjeru village in Buikwe District, during school holidays to supplement his pocket money at school.

With funding from the EU (European Union), NUCAFE is working to try to mark coffee and relate it to its region of production. Joseph Nkandu, the executive director of Nucafe, explained that although coffee is the country’s third most important foreign exchange earner it is high time Ugandan coffee is identified by region of production.

Hope for Rural Wealth Creation